The Equiband Concept

Equicore Concepts

The Equiband™ system can be used on horses of any age or discipline, providing they are free of any undiagnosed lameness or neurological disorder. The Equiband system is not a substitute for veterinary care and when in doubt veterinary advice must be sought prior to using the Equiband system.

The Equiband™ system is indicated as ideal for:

  • YOUNG HORSES - during training in-hand and on the lunge to strengthen the core muscles in preparation for ridden work, and when introducing work under saddle. Use the Equiband system when the horse is being trained in hand, on the lunge or in side reins before the horse is mounted. The goal is to strengthen the core muscles in preparation for ridden work and thus avoid potential injury due to weakness and hollowing in early exercise under saddle. The Equiband system should continue to be used once ridden work is introduced but the frequency may be reduced to a couple of times a week once the horse is strong enough to carry himself and his rider in a consistently round outline.
  • AGED HORSES – to maintain spinal mobility and strength. Horses with diagnosed arthritic issues must be warmed up prior to application of the Equiband™ system.
  • RETRAINING - after a period of inactivity prior to restarting ridden exercise. Any horse that is being brought back into work after a period of inactivity will benefit from a month of training with the Equiband™ system to strengthen the core musculature, prior to recommencing ridden exercise. This is especially indicated in brood mares and horses that are obese in which the abdominal musculature is not being used optimally.
  • REHABILITATION – horses that have been rested following an injury or colic surgery will benefit from core training exercises from the ground during the period of inactivity, followed by a month of training with the Equiband system.
  • ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE - enhancement through optimal core muscle facilitation. Expert riders have the skills to round their horses’ backs but not every rider is able to produce this desired frame. The Equiband™ system teaches the horse to round up through flexing the spine, and allows the rider to develop a feel for this ideal frame. The goal is for the rider to learn how to activate the core musculature. As the rider’s skills improve, the Equiband™ system can be used less frequently.

The Equiband system is not a training tool or gimmick. The concept of its use for core strengthening in the horse is based on scientifically-researched and validated techniques used in human conditioning and rehabilitation. These include the use of resistance bands in core muscle activation, along with individually-designed exercise programmes by professional therapists.


The Equiband System

EquicoreThe Equiband™ system consists of a saddlepad and two separate lengths of Equiband™ that are attached to the saddlepad. The saddlepad is available in regular and large sizes as well as a Western pad. The regular size is suggested for horses up to 16.1hh, and the large size for horses over 16.1hh, unless they are very compact in which case a regular size is more suitable. The saddlepad is made up of a wool/felt mix and is machine-washable. It is ergonomically shaped to prevent any restriction in the wither or lower back regions. The clips that attach Equiband™ to the saddlepad are designed for durability and safety. The saddle pad is designed for use with jumping, dressage and western saddles.

The Equiband™ itself is made of latex-free rubber, specifically designed for use on horses. The Equiband™ system uses either one or both bands on the horse; one shorter band attaches the left side of the saddle pad to the right, passing under the abdomen (abdominal band or AB). The band sits well behind the rider's leg. Its function is to stimulate the abdominal musculature during locomotion. The abdominal musculature supports the horse's back. The position of this band is especially indicated for horses that have recovered from a colic surgery, have poor (inverted) posture and in clinical cases such as diagnosed conditions of the back including 'kissing spines'.

The second and longer Equiband™ attaches at an oblique angle from the left side of the saddle pad to the right, passing under the tail behind the horse's hindquarters (hindquarter band or HQ). It will settle in the point of least resistance, above the hock and just below the level of the stifle. Its function is to make the horse aware of the position of his hind limbs in locomotion and to enhance proprioception. The position of this band is especially indicated for horses with asymmetrical hind limb movement, poor engagement and poor development of major muscle groups such as biceps femoris (which is associated with movement) as well as horses recovering from diagnosed musculoskeletal or neurological (EPM) conditions.

The two lengths of Equiband™ are delivered pre-threaded but will need to be adjusted for each horse as per instructions below. If the bands are only used on one horse it is advisable to trim the ends of the band with scissors after fitting and adjustment. If the band is used on multiple horses the fit and adjustment needs to be checked prior to use. Additional bands may also be purchased through the Equicore office.

Your Equiband™ system comes complete with saddle pad, two pre-threaded sets of Equiband™ (two shorter abdominal bands and two longer hindquarter bands), as well as a tape measure and user guide. For safety, it is essential to follow the guide on how to fit and use the Equiband™ system.